2022 e-Advocate logo

April 26, 2022

To submit news items, events, or corrections, email the conference Communications Office at [email protected].

Upcoming events

  • Wednesday, April 27 - Conference Center Chapel Service- by Zoom at 10 a.m. The Virginia United Methodist Center hosts a weekly public Zoom chapel service every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Guests from around the conference lead worship each week. Tune in to sing, pray, and study. The same Zoom link is used each week. Preacher this week is JoAnn Batteiger, Director of Student Ministries, Herndon UMC with musician Melissa Chavez, Director of Music, Herndon UMC, Herndon, VA.
  • Wednesday, May 11 - Conference-sponsored grant-writing event on Zoom
  • Thursday, May 19-Saturday, May 21- Clergy Soul Care Retreat
  • Thursday, June 16- Saturday, June 18 - 240th Session of the Virginia Annual Conference in Hampton, VA.
  • Thursday, June 30 - Mission Encounter begins (online, every Thursday evening).

How can you take part in learning, influencing, and serving this week?

  • How can you be a lifelong learner?

The Bible is the most foundational guide for the #UMC. But what are the other foundational documents? Use this #AskTheUMC feature in your communications to help educate your church family on the topic. Learn more...
  • How can you be an influencer?
Our Christian principles charge us to be a community of prayer and action. We are to live in the tension of piety and work. Worldwide, we continue to experience racial, ethnic, and tribal injustices that dehumanize God’s people. We are called to work towards liberation — as a spiritual and actionable practice. For this reason, the General Commission on Religion and Race invites you to participate in the Racial Justice Prayer & Action Challenge. Beginning on Juneteenth (Sunday, June 19, 2022) they will post daily prayers on social media for six weeks. Weekly challenges will be included to help you put your prayers into action. Influence...
  • How can you serve?

Native American Ministries Sunday is May 1. Your gifts on this special offering Sunday will support and strengthen the vibrant ministries of Native congregations in The United Methodist Church. How can you serve...

Virginia News

camp rainbow

Camp Rainbow Connection needs volunteers

What if there were a safe place where adults with intellectual disabilities could go for a full week of fun, food, and Christian fellowship? Imagine such a place with dedicated one-on-one staff and every day packed with exciting activities. Well, that’s the Camp Rainbow Connection. With a 35-year history of service to folks who have intellectual disabilities, Camp Rainbow delivers an exciting adventure for our campers, and a week of respite for their caregivers.

Camp Rainbow 2022—Cruising with Christ—is going to sea! Well, not literally, but the core team agreed that a cruise ship theme offered a world of possibilities. The team will talk about activities, decorations, music, and games at the May 14 Planning and Training Session. And get this, we’ll be holding the session at Richard Bland College this year. Think of how exciting it will be for new staffers to visit the facility in advance. All who might want to join this terrific group for the coming season are invited. For more information, check out the Camp Rainbow Connection webpage at https://www.vaumc.org/crc.
appointments general

Projected March 2022 Appointments released

The projected March appointments from Bishop Lewis and the Virginia Conference Cabinet are now available. View at the link...

Conference recruiting for Project Manager position

The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church is currently recruiting for the position of Project Manager. This position will work directly with the Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Connectional Ministries. The deadline for receiving applications is May 22, 2022. GCFA is working with the Virginia Conference to recruit for this position. If you know of someone who might be interested, please have them view the link posting to apply. If you have any questions about the open position, please contact Michelle Reddick, Human Resources Generalist, at 615-369-2357 or [email protected].

Join August 14-19 for spiritual renewal, exploration

The Virginia 5 Day Academy for Spiritual Formation invites you to join for a time of Spiritual Refreshment and Exploration through Pilgrimage with the Psalms, including times of silence, group reflection, communal meals and worship Sunday, Aug. 14-Friday, Aug. 19, 2022, at Roslyn Retreat Center, Richmond, VA. Three CEUs are available. To register visit: https://virginiafivedayacademy.org/.

Richmond church hosting Youth Night of Worship and Prayer in September

Discovery UMC in Richmond will be hosting their second annual Youth Night of Worship and Prayer on Friday, Sept. 16 from 4 to 8 p.m. Register by Aug, 12 for $15/person and register by Sept. 2 for $20/person. Dinner will be provided and the event will feature comedian John Felts, and Keith Elgin & The Alive Worship Band. Register...

Clergy invited to Clergy Soul Care Retreat May 19-21 in Richmond

The Spiritual Vitality Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry is inviting clergy to a Clergy Soul Care Retreat at Richmond Hill from May 19-21, 2022. Spiritual Vitality Committee Chair the Rev. Leigh Anne Taylor said in the invitation to clergy, "We want you to know that a small group of folks who serve with the Board of Ordained Ministry have been praying for you every morning at 6 a.m. Monday through Friday for over a year. We see you. We know you’re tired. We know how hard you’ve been working." The group is also working on a similar event in November for those who can't attend in May. Learn more...
green church award

Submit nominations for Green Church Award

Celebrate the transforming work of Creation Justice across the Virginia Annual Conference by submitting nominations for the Green Church Award. Submissions are due by May 14, 2022 to Brian Christoffersen at [email protected].

God calls us to be a people of flourishing love, hope, and renewal. One way United Methodists participate in the restoration and transformation of this world is by caring for God's good creation. In 2009, the Virginia Annual Conference established the Green Church Initiative and called on our churches to "green" their ministries. To recognize the continuing work of creation care in the Virginia Annual Conference, we are asking for nominations to receive the Green Church Award during the Virginia Annual Conference during June 17 afternoon session. We seek to recognize those congregations trying to affirm the importance of healing and defending God's creation in their mission as a local congregation. That are engaged in this ministry in the following ways:
1. Worship
2. Learning and teaching
3. Individual and congregational lifestyle, and
4. Community, national, and global advocacy/involvement.

UMVIM Team Leader training to be held June 4

A United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) Team Leader training event will take place in-person at Ebenezer UMC, 161 Embrey Mill Rd., Stafford, VA, 22554 on Saturday, June 4, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is a gathering time between 8:30 and 9 a.m. Lunch will be provided. An online training manual will be provided. Trainers are Tim Wells and Peter Kuebler. For more information, contact Terri Morgan at [email protected]. Register at this link...

Conference office offering free, online workshop on grants

In response to requests from clergy of the conference, the Office of Influencing Ministries is offering a free online workshop on some best practices for seeking and writing grants. Mr. David King, president of D. King Fundraising in Richmond, VA, will lead this session. The workshop will take place on Wednesday, May 11, 1:00-2:30 p.m. on Zoom. The deadline to register is May 6, 2022. Register at this link...

This workshop will cover the essential strategic steps in seeking and winning grants from public and private charitable foundations: research to identify overlapping interests with the foundations' stated giving priorities, cultivating a relationship with foundation staff, setting a grant-seeking strategy (including appropriate request amount), the submission process (including writing the grant application), reasonable expectations and the realities of grant-seeking, and stewarding and reporting on the grant once awarded.
vaumc conversations dmin

Conference podcast discusses chaplaincy at Wesley Theological Seminary

The Rev. Dr. Jim Driscoll and the Rev. Dr. Pete Moon discuss the Wesley Theological Seminary DMin in Military Chaplaincy. The upcoming Annual Conference Offering will support the scholarship program for the military chaplains who attend this program. For more information, go to www.vaumc.org/nurturing. Listen now...
umfs giving day

UMFS Giving Day for Foster Care is May 4

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 4 to join United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) for UMFS Giving Day for Foster Care. UMFS is kicking off National Foster Care Month with a special Giving Day to support children and teens in foster care at UMFS. Your donation will help provide the care and support they need to overcome obstacles and achieve a brighter future. Visit UMFS.org/giving-day to learn more.
Scholarship opportunity

Sister Scholarship application now available

The Sister Scholarship application is now available to be filled out by any female candidate in the Virginia Conference for educational support. The deadline is July 1. This award is given in memory of clergy women who have served in ministry in the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church. The purpose of the award is to support women who are duly enrolled in a seminary or school of theology approved by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church, or an Advanced Course of Study program approved by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. Eligibility is extended to all women committed to ministries of Word, Worship and Witness who are candidates for ministry in the Virginia Conference, and who indicate potential for developing creative ministries for a more just world. Apply now...
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Sign up for Annual Conference 2022 5k run/walk

Registration for VAUMC 5K Run/walk is now open! Go to www.vaumc.org/beingtogether or find the race at Runsignup.com! Join us at the Annual Conference to run and walk together. (There is a virtual option for anyone who might not be at Hampton, VA.)

Letter from Bishop Lewis shares disaffiliation information

In an April 18 letter, Bishop Lewis shared with the conference, in part:

"While the Cabinet and I believe the vast majority of churches in the Virginia Annual Conference will want to stay as part of The United Methodist Church denomination, there is a process for those that wish to leave and have prayerfully discerned this as their best course.

"The Virginia Conference is also committed to dialogue with churches unsure about the path they should take. For many, remaining in this denomination will be the right decision. At all times, though, we will respect that the decision to stay or leave the denomination is one of conscience.

"For those churches that are considering disaffiliating from the denomination over matters related to human sexuality, Paragraph 2553 of the Book of Discipline will be used to govern this process. After prayerful reflection and discussion, this is the recommendation of the Board of Trustees and the Cabinet. I agree with the recommendation." Read full letter...
clergy retreat may 2022

Sign up for Carolinas Black Clergy Leadership Retreat in May

The Carolinas Black Clergy Leadership Retreat takes place in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, May 23-27, 2022. Hosted by the North Carolina, Western North Carolina, and the South Carolina annual conferences, clergy from across the country have attended. This is a time renewal and reconnecting to clergy and laity around the Connection. Learn more...

Join upcoming conference Youth Ministry Chat

The conference Learning Ministries Office is hosting a noontime May 11 webinar with Ministry Architects to assist churches and youth ministries. Bryant Johnson and Philip Dezern will lead a conversation on what youth ministry means in this new time. For more information, contact the Rev. Seungsoo "RJ" Jun at [email protected].

Register in advance for this meeting:
ME_banner (1200 × 628 px)

Register now for Mission Encounter (Virtual Event)

Mission Encounter is an opportunity to study current issues impacting society based on current social justice and mission-related topics. Participants grow in understanding the mission of the church in the current world context; conference events are open to all. This is a cooperative event sponsored by the Virginia Conference Missional Ministries Board and the Virginia Conference United Women in Faith, formerly the United Methodist Women.

Theme: Building Communities of Hope and Joy (Luke 13)
Date: Every Thursday evening, starting on June 30, 2022
Time: 7 p.m.
Registration fee: $10

For registration and details, visit https://vaumc.org/me.
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Mentors needed for All God's Children Camp

All God's Children Camp is underway in planning and registering campers. Now mentors are needed to volunteer a week of their time. Mentors help make it possible for kids to come enjoy a week of camp and engage in all that camp life has to offer. This is a great way for groups such as Sunday School groups, Sr. High youth groups or other small groups to be in mission together. So grab a group of your friends and join! For more information contact Lori Smith at [email protected] or 571-245-9591. Click the link for more camp details and to register as a mentor.


Latest news for Annual Conference 2022

The Mission Opportunities during Annual Conference have been a highlight of the connectional system as 1,300 churches, their clergy, and annual conference members gathered, served, and shared gifts with the world. In the coming 2022 annual conference, the Serving Office is excited to announce three opportunities for us to come and serve this world together united as one. “United as One in Worship” is the overarching theme of the 2022 annual conference session. Learn more...

Find all AC 2022 news at www.vaumc.org/ac2022.

District Initiative: Learn about collaboration taking place in 16 districts

District Initiative is the collaboration currently taking place in the 16 districts. In a series of articles, the district superintendents of the Virginia Conference share more about District Initiative and next steps.
View all current articles here...

General Church News

earth day glacier net zero

Report released on church’s net-zero efforts

UM NEWS-- A new report shows that The United Methodist Church is still at the beginning stages of cutting greenhouse-gas emissions. The goal is to be net-zero by 2050, meaning that agencies, boards and commissions are effectively ceasing to damage the environment through energy use. The balance between cutting emissions and keeping up vital ministries is a delicate one. Read more...

Churches welcome Ukrainian refugees

UM NEWS-- United Methodists in countries bordering Ukraine continue to offer aid and encouragement to Ukrainian refugees. Some of those displaced also are joining in local church activities, including worship. Read more...
globe heart mission

Listen to #StillinMission episode with young adult missionaries

Join the General Board of Global Ministries on a virtual mission trip to discover God's work in ways you may have never imagined on April 28 at 10 a.m. On this trip you will select a region to visit, and you will "fly"--through the magic of Zoom -- to that region to hear and see how God is moving in mission through young adult missionaries. Imagine a possibility to Engage, Connect and Grow in mission, learning, exploring, connecting, and partnering with Fellows around the world through the Global Mission Fellows Program. Fellows will facilitate your experience of God’s mission in countries such as Cambodia, Honduras, Ireland, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Korea, the United States, Uruguay, and Zambia. This event is free and is part of the Spring Stewardship Campaign for the Global Mission Fellows Program. Registration is limited. You will get a confirmation email once your registration is accepted. If the limit is reached, you will get priority for future events. Register...

Postponing General Conference may be a good thing

UM NEWS--Our human need for control often outruns our ability to wait in prayerful discernment.
Key moments in Methodist history provide a broader view of the denomination’s current situation.
While today’s issues are important, they are not at the heart of what Jesus taught — nor do they overshadow John Wesley’s abiding passion for sharing the good news. Read more...

One Last Word

sing to the lord garden flowers
Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
Psalm 96:1-3 NIV
Please send any issues or concerns to [email protected]. If you have issues with the formatting trying to forward (especially in Outlook), you can use the following link. More...
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